21. February 2024

The Block Gets New CEO, 33% Staff Layoffs Following Controversial Loans

• The Block, a crypto news website, has experienced major changes in leadership and staff layoffs.
• This was due to loans it received from former FTX and Alameda Research founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
• Larry Cermak is now CEO of the platform following the departure of Mike McCaffrey.

The Block Gets New Leadership

The crypto and blockchain news website The Block recently announced that Larry Cermak will be taking the reins from interim CEO Bobby Moran as its new CEO. This change in leadership follows reports that former CEO Mike McCaffrey financed the platform through loans from Alameda Research.

Staff Layoffs at The Block

Axios reported that The Block laid off roughly 33% of its staff — including Moran — to stabilize the platform following controversial loans it received from former FTX and Alameda Research founder Sam Bankman-Fried. In December 2022, Moran revealed that McCaffrey had used two loans totaling $27 million from Alameda in 2021 in his efforts to restructure the crypto news site without disclosing them to The Block’s leadership team, which eventually led to his resignation as CEO.

Frank Chaparro Reacts to Changes

The Block’s editor-at-large Frank Chaparro, who previously referred to McCaffrey as “literal scum” who betrayed the platform’s staff, lauded Cermak’s advancement to CEO, saying the site was “returning to our crypto native roots.” Despite financial ties between The Block and SBF, Cermak reportedly said he had received no direction from McCaffrey to cover stories about FTX or Bankman-Fried “in any particular way,” with all news stories on the website including a disclaimer with details about such loans.

FTX Presentation Reveals Financial Troubles

Since FTX filed for a $1 billion initial public offering (IPO) earlier this year, internal documents have shown how its liquid assets were much lower than what was reported during the offering process — leaving some investors worried about their investments in the firm. It remains unclear how these issues will affect The Block moving forward given its connections with SBF via past loan agreements and personnel changes at its helm.

Conclusion

The latest developments at The Block reflect both current market conditions for cryptocurrency as well as ongoing changes within not only its own organization but also those connected with it through financial dealings and personnel shifts alike. While only time will tell how this will ultimately impact both individual investors and institutions involved with SBF’s projects further down the line, one thing is certain — these recent events highlight just how dynamic and ever-changing cryptocurrency markets are today.